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The High Court has confirmed that seven former non-executive directors of James Hardie Industries Ltd (JHIL) breached their duties to act with due care and skill by approving the release of a misleading announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) concerning the funding arrangements of JHIL’s asbestos liabilities. The High Court rejected the directors’ argument that the draft ASX announcement had neither been tabled at the meeting nor approved by them, finding that there was sufficient evidence of both events.

The High Court has also confirmed that the former company secretary and general counsel breached his duties, and that in reviewing his conduct it was not possible to separate his “company secretarial” from his “other” functions.

To read our analysis of the decision on the directors and its implications please click here.

To read our analysis of the decision on the general counsel, and its implications for company officers, please click here.

To watch Lis Boyce discuss the implications of the James Hardie decision on Monday’s Boardroom Radio Live Legal Brief, please see the top right hand column of our wepage here.

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